How Social Media Can – And Can’t – Help You Survive PR Calamities

How Social Media Can – And Can’t – Help You Survive PR Calamities

Everyone has a PR misstep every now and then, but few brands have experienced the kind of unmitigated publicity disaster that United Airlines has dealt with the last couple of weeks. Certainly, I hope you haven’t. By now I’m sure you and nearly everyone you know have seen that viral video of a United Airlines passenger getting yanked out of his seat by police, his face smashing into the armrest in the opposite row. Other passengers, clearly mortified, aimed their smartphone cameras at the ordeal. In seemingly no time, the video was shared online, news organizations reported on the PR disaster, and people on social media skewered the airline relentlessly. All because United Airlines needed to open up a few extra seats on the flight and couldn’t come up with a more delicate way of solving the problem. I often talk about what a great tool social media is for promoting yourself or your brand, and how in this day and age social media is an essential element in an overall publicity campaign. And that’s just as true as ever. But, as the United Airlines situation reveals, social media is a double-edged sword that can be used against you when the publicity tides turn and customers want to complain about your service. As I pondered that situation, I decided to ask Jay York, our senior social media strategist, to share a few tips about the role social media can and can’t play when your brand gets a black eye. Here’s what Jay had to say: Get ahead of the problem before social media is involved. While it’s great when...
How Can I Supercharge My Social Media Efforts?

How Can I Supercharge My Social Media Efforts?

Why You Should Use Social Media to Build Your Opt-In Email List! By now, everyone knows that social media is a key component to any marketing campaign. At least if you’ve been reading these newsletters you do. But aside from the obvious benefits of outreach and awareness, there is something else you can be doing with your social networking campaign that can supercharge all of your efforts: build an opt-in email list. I know from my own experience that social media marketing has enabled me to increase my email list by thousands, with those on the list continuously receiving my newsletters that carry my advice, my tips and my message. My newsletter helps my social media contacts remember me and what I do, not because I am actively selling and promoting myself. Like my social media strategy, I use these pieces to add value to the lives of the people on my list. My formula is simple – if some of you like what you read, when you have the need and the resources and are considering using a PR firm, you might consider my company. And that’s it. What’s more, I know it works, because I’ve used this formula to build a thriving 27-year-old business. Adding value for my clients is the real reward I have enjoyed by combining my email and social media marketing efforts. So how can you do this? Let me share a few actions that we find are successful. Join Targeted Discussions and Post Valuable Content. Within your social networks, stay abreast of trending topics and discussions that your target audience will find relevant....
Seeing Your PR Campaign In 4-D

Seeing Your PR Campaign In 4-D

With movies such as “Logan,” “Alien: Covenant” and many others being filmed in 3-D these days, I started thinking about how a good PR campaign also has its own 3-D elements. Although since there are four types of media outlets – TV, radio, social media and print (offline and online) – what you really need is a 4-D strategy. (Yes, I’m sure those brilliant physicists Sheldon and Leonard from TV’s “Big Bang Theory” would take issue with my science.) In PR, unlike movies, 4-D is the only way to go. I mention this because people frequently ask me which of those four media options is better.  I try to explain that each is effective in its own right. But since the media feeds off itself, the most effective PR campaign will include using all elements in a strategy that leverages a 4-dimensional approach. Here are some ways the different elements of a 4-dimensional PR campaign fit together: Print/Online – I put print and online in the same category because they both encompass written articles, and just about everything that appears in print is repurposed online. That means written articles have a dual impact. Most importantly, every article or column that includes a mention of you, your book or your company eventually will appear online, meaning you’re just a Google search away from potential customers or clients. Also, an enterprising TV producer or radio show host who’s interested in interviewing you can find those articles, and that can help confirm for them that you’re a credible expert in your field. Those articles also are great fodder for social networks. Being...
Simple Tips To Make Design Work  For You And Your Brand

Simple Tips To Make Design Work For You And Your Brand

Like many of you, I’m excited about 2017 and the possibilities for another successful year. To achieve that success all of us need to be looking for ways we can improve, and over the years I’ve noticed that one extremely important area where people can improve is in the design on their websites and on their social media platforms. I’ve always felt that the content of your copy and the design that enhances that content are equally important. You can have great content on your website, for example, but if the design accompanying it is unprofessional, visitors will zip right past it in search of something more credible. At the same time, a captivating design can grab people’s attention, but if it turns out that you’re all flash without substance, they may leave and never return. Over the last several months it seems that I’ve shared a lot with you about the content side of things – what to say, how to say it and when to say it. I’ve been a lot less focused on design, but let’s remedy that right now. Quite some time ago we recognized just how essential graphic elements are in brand promotion and that’s why our team includes Becky Lofgren, our in-house graphic designer, who works solely with our social media clients. Becky shared with me a few simple things you can do to help get the most out of your design. Select the right color. Any color that appeals to you is a good one, right? Not exactly. Colors can evoke certain emotions so you want to choose a color that sends...
How Social Media Turns You Into A Valuable Media Commodity

How Social Media Turns You Into A Valuable Media Commodity

If you’re savvy enough to be using social media as part of your branding efforts – and I know that you are – then you’re also savvy enough to want to get the most out of those efforts. After all, when you’re using social media for personal or business branding, you’re not out to learn how many of your high school classmates have grandchildren, or “like” the photos of your niece’s wedding. Instead, your goal – or at least one of your goals – is to build a loyal following and then leverage that following to enhance your marketing and branding efforts as an authority in your field. Because here’s the thing: the greater your following, the more intriguing you’ll appear to the media gatekeepers you’re trying to attract to spread your message. Let’s face it, most people in the media are inundated with requests from people who have a story to tell, a product to sell or a service to promote. If you manage to cut through all that clutter and get on the media’s radar, one of the first things they will do is Google your name or your company’s name and check out your presence on social media. It gives your credibility a strong boost if the media find that you are widely followed on social media sites. Here are just a few ways your social media following can pay marketing dividends for you: A large, built-in following makes you an asset to the media. The bigger your following the more impressive you’ll look when the media take a peek into your online world. As a...
What’s The Value Of A ‘Like’?

What’s The Value Of A ‘Like’?

Social media and its role in marketing can be quite the puzzle – even for some of those who are sold on the benefits. They check their “likes” and they figure that a bigger number is better than a smaller one, but beyond that they are perplexed. “What does it all mean?” they wonder. In short, I racked up a bunch of likes but the question remains: what’s the value of a like? I was talking about this very topic this morning with Jay York, EMSI’s senior social media strategist, about how easy it is to overlook the fact that those likes so many people are chasing have more value than initially meets the eye. But before we look at that, we need to re-visit briefly how it is that people interact – or don’t – on social media. Most of us probably know people who are extraordinarily active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other platforms. They post their views on the presidential debate or share a fascinating article they read on a science magazine’s website. They let you know their child scored a goal in soccer, that they’re dining at an Italian restaurant tonight or that they just installed new kitchen tile. They also routinely comment on, like or share what others post. Then there are those who rarely if ever post anything. Essentially, they are spectators, not participants. But that doesn’t mean they’re unaffected by what they see because people retain a lot of the information they see even if they aren’t active on social media. Both types of social media users come into play when you’re...